(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1914). 229 x 140 mm. (9 x 5 1/2"). Two volumes. Edited by Leonard Cyril Martin.
Appealing contemporary hunter green half calf, raised bands, spines attractively gilt in compartments with large central fleuron and volute cornerpieces, one red and one black morocco label, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, other edges UNOPENED. Spines uniformly sunned to a soft brown, minor rubbing to extremities, but the bindings quite sound and generally pleasant, and an immaculate copy internally, the obviously unread text very clean, fresh, and bright, with generous margins.
According to DNB, the works of Henry Vaughan (1621-95) "anticipate the Romantics in expressing a loving appreciation of the natural world. His sense of the sacredness of nature may be related to his reading in the hermetic books. . . . There is no sharp distinction between God and his universe. No place is especially sacred, because every place is sacred; to use Vaughan's words, God is 'in all things, though invisibly'. . . . Vaughan's devotion to the God who manifested himself ungrudgingly through the universe surely marks a new phase of religious sensibility in seventeenth-century England." A Welsh "physic," poet, translator, and writer of devotional works, Vaughan was the twin brother of alchemist Thomas Vaughan, and shared his twin's interest in hermetic philosophy. He is often grouped with the metaphysical poets John Donne and George Herbert, and he credited the latter for his own spiritual conversion. This collection includes his translations of Juvenal and Ovid, his early secular poetry, his devotional writings, and his greatest work, "Silex scintillans," described by the DNB as "indeed as great a sequence of religious lyrics as we have." The set is beautifully printed by the Clarendon Press and presented in an attractive contemporary binding. (ST11896d)
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